Here’s the deal: I like cold brewed iced coffee and Blue Bottle got its hooks in me early this Summer with their New Orleans iced coffee. But at $4/cup for 8 oz., that’s an expensive everyday habit and that is where we stand up and say ‘NUH UH BLUE BOTTLE NO NO GIRL!’ The point of this blog is to not pay tons of money for things you could do yourself with not a lot of effort. Then Blue Bottle can be an occasional field trip and not a huge expense. Yes.

Cold brew iced coffee is ridiculously easy to make at home and you can do it. ”Let’s gooooo!” - Diddy

(makes about enough for a weekish)

  • 2 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp Cafe Du Monde coffee
  • 5 cups cold tap water
  • a big ‘non-reactive’ bowl (glass, stainless steel, NOT aluminum)
  • a fine mesh sieve and a finer mesh sieve (get ‘em at NYC hardware/grocery stores for a few bucks)
Cafe Du Monde is like rocket fuel if rocket fuel dressed up like coffee but was like “Surprise! Still rocket fuel!” Whole Foods has it for $10/can or scour Chinatown grocery stores and buy it for $5. It contains chicory which gives it that rocket fuel burn that makes it New Orleans-y. 

1. Measure out the coffee into the bowl.

2. Pour 1 cup of water over the coffee. Wet it as much as you can so it’s like wet dirt. Let it sit for a few minutes, then come back and slowly pour the rest of the water over the grounds. You don’t wanna splash too much around so go easy on it. When all the water’s in there, cover it (saran wrap, or a towel) and let it sit for 12 hours. Yep, 12. Take a really long nap. Or just do it overnight.

3. After 12 hours, uncover, and if there’s a crust of coffee on the top, break it up with a spoon (this makes it easier to pour). Now, be careful, and strain the coffee into another container through a fine mesh sieve. After you’ve done that, strain it through a finer sieve. (You don’t have to do this, but you’ll get “cowboy coffee” if you just use one sieve. Lots of grounds in the bottom.)

4. And that’s it! It’s good for 7 - 9 days in the fridge. So simple.

To serve, pour equal parts cold brew and milk (whole or 2% is best) over ice. You can sweeten it too by making some simple syrup - 1:1 sugar/water. Do that on a stove or just do this:

Simple Syrup At Work!

  • 2 sugar packets
  • hot water from the office cooler
Pour sugar in a cup. Add a little hot water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Blammo.
Add a little simple syrup to coffee. Voila. Even make a big cup of simple syrup so it’s cool and ready when you want it - the one drawback of making it right out of the cooler is you’ll have hot simple syrup to pour into cold iced coffee. Not the worst thing, but make it ahead of time if you don’t wanna not deal with that noise.

If you bought Blue Bottle iced coffee thrice a week you’d spend $48/month (aka another cable bill). If you did the same with this cold brew, you’d have to do about 3 batches and that’d cost you about $17 (plus free milk and sugar that you get from work because they have a refrigerator right?). That’s some good scratch saved for a fraction of your time. Look at you. Look. at. you. 

I hate paying for unsatisfying lunches in midtown Manhattan. I like making cheap food at work. So this made sense.

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